Huckleberries Online is interviewing Pat Whalen (pictured above at candidates' forum at North Idaho College) at the moment:
- DFO: Why did you make public the old DUI conviction at the candidates forum last week?
- Pat Whalen: It was bound to come out. Because I had shared with the Boys & Girls Club board. I thought people would be interested in the idea that Cathyanne Nonini had tried to disturb our well-functioning board.
- DFO: As you considered your race for the state Senate, do you suspect that this might come out?
- Pat Whalen: My wife and I knew that anyone with Google and 3 minutes of time on their hands would discover that I had a DUI. We didn't expect the Noninis to be the ones to bring it up because he has so much to hide in his past.
- DFO: Nonini said at the candidates forum that you had brought up his cocaine arrest at several forums, maybe 4 in all. Is that true?
- Pat Whalen: I have no idea where he got that impression. I haven't brought it up at all.
- DFO: What has been the net effect of the revelation?
- Pat Whalen: It was an emotionally wrenching day Thursday. Then Friday — and I don't have any idea on the effect of the overall race — I will say that since that time our donations have spiked. Everyone I talked to over the weekend has been incredibly supportive.
- DFO: Do you think at this point, since the Noninis have brought up this 8-year-old incident about you, that it's fair to discuss his checkered past?
- Pat Whalen: I'm a positive guy. I'm trying to run a positive campaign. It's not for the campaign to do that. If I were a reporter, it would be an interesting question.
Archives: In early 2001, Bob Nonini, who was then chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, pulled out of the running for appointment to the Senate seat that Jack Riggs vacated when he was appointed as lieutenant governor. Nonini said at the tmie that his decision had nothing to do with a Spokesman-Review story being prepared by Thomas Clouse and Angie Gaddy. The story appeared in The Spokesman-Review on Feb. 1, 2001. You can read that story here.